back in the neighborhood

Out in the world of the neighbourhood, the little girls leaving St Hilda’s and St Hughs for the day still wear white ankle socks and ballet flats with their light blue uniforms, although the little boys’ long sleeved white shirts have been modernized to sport Polo on the chest next to the maroon striped tie. 

IMG_1016 The neighbourhood’s Morningside Book Shop is closing this weekend, after a 50-year run.  A block away, Bank Street books is doing landoffice business in the after school hour.    IMG_1012

The building fronts west of Broadway look like a cake decorator’s practice board, with abundant curls of stone, carved blossoms, scrollwork that has pediments masquerading as cellos. I can never get enough of this eye candy. I make myself stop to eat a sandwich, although food doesn’t seem nearly as interesting—as necessary?—as detail gazing.  Tuna on rye here costs less than the daily special in Dartmouth; like the unfailing politeness of subway riders who excuse themselves when they bump into you in a relatively uncrowded situation, NYC puts the lie to its reputation as big, greedy and uncaring.  (When bumped in a tight crowd, there’s no need for excusing).

I eat the sandwich at a lunchcounter, admiring the madness behind it, up against the chrome faced wall:  three milkshake blenders with assorted syrups, glassware, soda spouts—and a half gallon bottle of vodka. Then back to walking, the best reason of all to come to New York.

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